Your feedback as a manager is crucial to the success of your team. Whether it's praise for a job well done or constructive criticism to help your team grow, your input impacts your team's performance and morale.
According to Zippia research, 68% of employees who got feedback felt fulfilled in their roles. Similarly, managers who provided regular and constructive feedback had a 14.9% lower turnover rate in their teams than managers who did not. Moreover, teams with managers who received feedback on their strengths had a 12.5% greater productivity post-intervention than teams with managers who did not get feedback.
Feedback helps your teams grow. For every individual, it helps them progress in their career trajectory. Yet feedback is frowned upon and is often delivered in a hurry. Let’s see how Netflix's unusual and very successful feedback culture is distinguished by several aspects.
Instead of waiting for infrequent yearly or semiannual assessments, the company emphasizes the value of continuous feedback, with management and employees engaging in ongoing discussions about performance, objectives, and development possibilities.
"Radical candor," the core of Netflix's feedback culture, emphasizes offering constructive criticism in a way that shows genuine interest in the addressee's achievement. This may require open talks with employees about areas where they may be struggling and giving concrete ideas for improvement.
Netflix's feedback culture is founded on the contributions of peers. Peer feedback is highly recognized and promoted to give employees a full view of their performance and support further progress.
People at Netflix are encouraged to think outside the box and are given constructive feedback depending on the results of their efforts. The organization encourages employees to behave autonomously and take ownership of their work. Rather than being used to micromanage, feedback is provided in a way that supports this sort of autonomy.
Netflix's feedback culture fosters continuous improvement. Providing constructive criticism is only half of the job; feedback should also aim to improve employees' talents and productivity. Employees are encouraged to seek lifelong learning in this setting.
It might be difficult for many teams to provide feedback, even when it is beneficial. So, what are the options? One extreme is to dismiss your concerns and wait until the very last moment.
Conversely, if you come across as abrupt or critical, the person you're speaking with may get defensive and upset.
Focusing people on their shortcomings doesn’t enable learning; it impairs it.
Giving constructive feedback means learning the art of positive reinforcement. People are usually ready to point out what is wrong, but it is as important to pay attention to and comment on what is right to encourage improvement.
Giving individuals "feedback" is thus one of the most effective methods to help them grow and improve in their professions. If delivered with attention, quality and constructive feedback may lead to meaningful, positive change. As a result, it is important to provide clear and courteous comments.
Vague feedback can be destructive
Clear and constructive feedback is critical to assisting individuals in improving and growing in their professions. Nevertheless, ambiguous input might be just as detrimental as none at all. When feedback is imprecise, employees may be unsure of how to improve, leading to dissatisfaction and poor performance.
Vague comments can also make the feedback provider feel unheard or disregarded, generating friction and impeding workplace collaboration.
Additionally, a lack of feedback might result in high turnover rates and severe financial losses for the organization.
According to HubSpot, 69% of workers think they would work more if their efforts were acknowledged. As a result, managers must offer clear and precise feedback that allows workers to identify areas for development and take action to reach their objectives. Managers may make employees feel appreciated and motivated while also increasing productivity and success in the workplace.
Let’s see how you can deliver useful feedback to your team.
Being specific is the key
For starters, be as explicit as you can while providing feedback. Giving your team members blanket compliments or criticisms like "excellent job" or "needs improvement" isn't helpful if they want to learn from the experience.
Instead, be specific about the team member's strengths and areas for growth. In doing so, individuals get clarity on what they must maintain or alter in order to progress.
As an alternative to stating, "You did a good job with resolving the client’s issues”, you might say something like, "I truly appreciate how you addressed the client's issues during the assignment. Your skill in efficient communication was crucial to our achievement." This feedback is useful for inspiring and energizing team members since it is tailored to each individual and emphasizes the positive qualities they already possess.
Delayed feedback is passé
Second, timing is of the essence when giving comments. Feedback loses its usefulness and impact if it is delayed for too long. Whether the experience was pleasant or negative, comments should be made as soon as possible following the occurrence. Your team members will be able to evaluate their performance and make adjustments.
Whenever a team member makes a mistake while working on a project, for instance, fixing the problem right away rather than after the project is finished is preferable. This will enable them to fix and stop the problem from occurring again.
If there’s a negative, there should be a positive
Third, balance by including good and negative comments in your feedback. The correct ratio to give critical and balanced feedback is in the ratio of 2:1. Which means for every two positives, managers should deliver one critical feedback.
Everyone in a team benefits from hearing both praise and constructive criticism. When they see that you treat them fairly, your team members will have more faith in you. Instead of just criticizing, it's better to offer suggestions for improvement while giving criticism.
Consider the following, instead of declaring, "you did a bad job on this project," you may reply, "I noted that there were some ways in which we could enhance the product." Let's put our heads together and figure out how to solve these problems".
Feedback is a two-way lane
Feedback is never singular. Your team members should also have a chance to voice their thoughts. As a manager, you are responsible for creating a safe space where your teammates can say “no” to feedback or express their concerns.
Better outcomes and a powerful team can arise from a culture of open communication and cooperation fostered through this practice.
Team members who can openly share their thoughts and opinions with you are likelier to take pride in their job. This, in fact,
- increases output,
- improves morale, and
- establishes closer ties to the management
Timely feedback eliminates stereotypes
A Women at Workplace study found that women receive 20% less actionable feedback than men, and managers usually refrain from giving critical feedback. Not just that, a Harvard study pointed out that even when women receive feedback, it is not related to their tasks or performance but to their characteristics and communication style.
Most often, it’s difficult to decipher the vague feedback. There’s a certain gender bias in how men and women receive feedback.
For example, when feedback is given to women, it usually sounds like “Carla is paralyzed and confused in her decision-making when given tighter deadlines.” A male colleague will receive the same feedback differently—“Dan, even though a bit hesitant in decision-making, can work on multiple alternative solutions and is determined to see through it.”
Women were 14% less likely to be promoted than males of equal grade
Specific feedback that emphasizes a woman's qualities and accomplishments, for instance, might help mitigate the negative consequences of a stereotype threat, which is the worry that one's actions would lend credence to unfavorable generalizations about one's identification group.
The growth and development of female employees may be aided by providing targeted, timely, fair, and transparent feedback. Doing as little as eliminating the annual feedback system removed bias from answers.
When feedback was given in real-time and regularly, it usually focussed on the work done, not the observed characteristics. In addition to that, incorporating tools that had language and feedback options helped reviewers draft constructive feedback without the gender in question.
Female employees, who may be more sensitive to criticism owing to social messaging regarding women's ability, might benefit from balanced feedback that includes positive and negative remarks to assist them in gaining trust and credibility.
Lastly, encouraging women to provide and receive honest criticism is an effective way to combat bias and raise the profile of women's issues. Managers may encourage the development of all employees, including women, by prioritizing feedback that is:
- Balanced, and
A more open and accepting culture can emerge due to increased employee participation, output, and longevity.
Feedback is essential to managing a team
Managers who provide detailed, timely, balanced, and transparent feedback help their teams succeed. They may promote a continual learning and growth culture by delivering feedback that highlights strengths, acknowledges areas for improvement, and welcomes cooperation and debate.
After all, the goal of giving and receiving criticism is to create a team that is stronger, more invested, and more productive than ever before. Managers prioritizing feedback are more likely to have employees who grow professionally, reach their objectives, and make meaningful contributions to the company's bottom line.